Some of you may have been following the thread I started over in the Swamp about horse racing (http://www.cardrunners.com/cr_forums/showthread.php?178252-Horse-Racing). Feel free to give it a read if you want to get caught up to speed.
Well, my second week has ended and it was a very interesting week to say the least. It started out with me hitting a 33:1 in the opener at Belmont on Thursday. It was a beautiful thing and I felt dirty afterwards. It was like taking candy from a baby.
Then on Friday I hit a Pick 3 at Belmont for $388 (on a $4 wager). But the heartbreak of the week came Saturday when I missed a 50:1 by a length. The worst part is that my horse got cutoff at the start of the race and immediately lost 5 or 6 lengths. He just about stopped and had to start running again. The same horse that cut him off was the eventual winner and while there was an inquiry into the matter (gave me a nice sweat), it was determined that no foul had occurred (I thought there was but maybe I'm being biased).
There is no doubt in my mind that if my horse would have had a clean break, he would have won the race by 4 or 5 lengths. So that really sucked. If you're bored and want to watch the replay, it's race 9, horse #3 Mingunade (http://www.equibase.com/premium/eqbSummaryResultsDisplay.cfm?TRK=BEL&CY=USA&DATE=06/29/2012&STYLE=BEL) You have to sign up for a free account to view the race (which is stupid).
I ended the week sweating another Pick 3 that I played. I had two horses in the third leg and it would have paid either $600 or $1000 depending on which horse won. But I finished a disappointing 4th.
Traditionally, I haven't been a big player of the exotics. I've always kept things simple and mostly played for a horse to win. But I've been thinking about it more and more and it seems like a good way to gain a lot of wagering leverage. For the few I've played over the years, I've done remarkably well. And since I go through the chore of handicapping the card anyways, maybe I should start taking a few more shots at the Pick 3s - Pick 6s.
So anyways, I added $800 to my roll this week bringing my total winnings to $1,502. I've transferred out my original deposit, so I'm playing with just my winnings.
It was a winning week, so I'm happy with that. But I made A LOT of mistakes that I wasn't too thrilled about. One in particular happened today while playing Belmont. I liked two horses. One was 4:1 and the other was 16:1. But for some reason, I pretty much ignored the 16:1 even though I had him marked as a key horse (I played him in my pick 3). Well, he won the race and I was sitting at my desk wondering what just happened. Here's a rule of thumb if you ever go to the horse races. If you like two horses and you think they both have equal chances at winning the race, pick the one with the larger odds.
Just a careless mistake. But I recognize that I'm kinda learning as I go along. So hopefully I don't make that mistake again.
So the discussion in the Swamp thread was whether or not a person could make money playing the horses. I said that I thought it was possible and it might even be easier than beating $200NL. I still think it's possible but I can tell you right now that if I go busto, it will be because of two factors:
1. Playing too many races (not being selective enough)
2. Bankroll management
I'm definitely playing too many races and it has to stop. I need more discipline. I need to play only the juiciest spots. The problem is that I get upset if I don't play a race and the horse I thought might win actually wins. I need to get over that. it's kinda like in poker when you pass on a hand only to find out that you would have flopped a monster. But we both know what happens to the player who plays too many hands. I mean, if you want to win races, then play every race. But if you want to win money, you need to be selective.
As far as BR management, I need to be careful not to tilt. I find myself wanting to make larger bets when things don't always work out. That is a quick way to go busto. I need to recognize that my style does not produce a lot of winners. But when they do win, they more than make up for my losers.
But as far as my handicapping and recognizing value, I thought I did extremely well this week. I actually ordered a few books off of Amazon that I've been wanting to read. So I look forward to getting those this week and doing some studying. I've spent a great deal of time scouring the web looking for quality handicapping information. It's few and far between. And I made sure that the books I ordered off Amazon were actually good books and not the poker equivalent of Phil Hellmuth teaching online poker.
So anyways, that's where I'm at. Again, this is just for fun but I've decided to take it seriously. I've always loved horse racing. Both thoroughbreds and standardbreds. So this is kinda half as a challenge and half as an experiment. I set of goal of $10k by the end of year. So its either $10k or busto and to be honest, I think I'm about 3:1 to go busto. I guess we'll see.
If you would like me to continue blogging about my horse racing adventures, let me know in the comments. If there's no real interest, then I won't waste my time (this blogging thing is a time hog!)
Oh, and if you play the races for profit, I'd love to chat with you!
Hope everyone is well,